Despite efforts among lawmakers to ban ByteDance's TikTok, the Beijing-based social media company and countless others like it remain popular in the United States.
Temu, a shopping app owned by China-based PDD Holdings, has the number two spot on the Apple App Store among free apps as of late May, according to CNBC.
The app also held the number 12 spot among digital retailers in the 2022 holiday season for unique visitors, beating out stores like Kohl's, Wayfair, and Nordstrom, Insider Intelligence reported.
Other ByteDance-owned phone applications, CapCut and Lemon8, are also performing well. The former holds the fourth spot on the Apple Store, with the latter receiving nearly 1 million downloads between late March and early April.
Although TikTok has boasted 415 million downloads in the country since its launch, CapCut has had 99 million, Temu 67 million, and Lemon8 1.2 million, data from Apptopia reviewed by CNBC showed.
"An app with a thousand, or even a million users in the U.S., does not present the same widespread cybersecurity threat that an app with 100 million users has," stated Lindsay Gorman, a technology expert at the Alliance for Securing Democracy.
Gorman further believes that the U.S. should consider the risk posed by other Chinese applications by developing a consistent framework to assess them, drawing an analogy to U.S. energy infrastructure.
"We would not allow the authoritarian regime to build significant components of our energy infrastructure and rely on an authoritarian regime for that," she explained.
It comes as Congress is considering the adoption of Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota's RESTRICT Act.
The legislation, which has received bipartisan support in the upper chamber, would empower the Commerce Secretary to recommend the prohibition of new technology from foreign adversaries if determined to be an imminent risk.
"We need a comprehensive, risk-based approach that proactively tackles sources of potentially dangerous technology before they gain a foothold in America, so we aren't playing Whac-A-Mole and scrambling to catch up once they're already ubiquitous," Warner stated.
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